Monday, April 27, 2009

winning may not mean you come in first

Some of you don't like that title.  Well, give me a minute to explain.  What I am excited about today is the weekend we have just come through.  On Saturday we trained Financial Coaches that can help people begin a written budget and begin to win with the money they have.  Yesterday we had a great session of learning how to begin the budget process (15 coaches trained and 50 people completed the budgeting session).
 
Here is what I mean by 'winning may not mean you come in first.'  Winning with your money means you make a plan and then make your plan work.  Julie and I have been doing this now since November and we have seen God do some incredible things with our marriage and with our money (because much of marital stress has to do with money).  No, we don't have a bunch of money in the bank, but we do have a plan that leaves us with a cushion or margin at the end of each money.  Emergencies don't have to mean that everything, including yourself, has to go to pieces.
 
This weekend was led by Joe Sangl.  Learn more about Joe and his crusade to help people win with their money at www.joesangl.com.  Our folks were so blessed.  In our worship experience Joe shared from Matthew 25:14-30.  It is the parable of the talents.
 
In that story there are three different kinds of people: those who managed money well, those who managed money poorly, and those who weren't even in the story.
 
The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, 'Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.' 21 "The master was full of praise. 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!'  22 "The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.'  23 "The master said, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!'  24 "Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, 'Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn't plant and gathering crops you didn't cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.'  26 "But the master replied, 'You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn't plant and gathered crops I didn't cultivate, 27 why didn't you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.'
 
The one that is not in the story, Sangl shared, is like 70 percent of Americans who spent the 1 bag of silver the master gave and then financed 30% more.  When the master came home, this dude may have even asked for a loan.  That makes no sense.  That is why we have to learn to manage our money and our lives well.  We are not using what God gave us when we spend it all and have nothing to show for it.  Think about that. 
 
Matthew 6:19 (nlt) ---  "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.
 
Matthew 6:20 (nlt) --- Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
Winning may not mean you come in first, but it does mean that you begin to use what you have for a purpose bigger then you.  God has designed us to win.  Our choices often make us lose.  It is time to make better choices, listen to God and to win with what we have!
 
NOTE: we now have financial coaches at The Community Fellowship.  If you would like help setting up a written budget, call the church at 276-647-8231 or email us at info@thecommunityfellowship.org.

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